Upshur County BOE lifts mask mandate, leaving decision up to individuals, families

TENNERTON – Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, the mask mandate for Upshur County Schools teachers, staff and students has been lifted and left to the discretion of the individual or family choice.   

Upshur County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus said she had met with Upshur County School Directors on Monday, and they recommended that face coverings be optional.

“We agreed to recommend that face coverings be optional in all educational areas including buses in Upshur County Schools based on personal and family choice,” Stankus read during the Tuesday evening Upshur County Board of Education meeting, held at Buckhannon-Upshur High School.

Stankus reported that by following this directive, Upshur County Schools would be following several neighboring school districts in revising their COVID-19 protocols as the number of COVID cases continue to drop in West Virginia.

“This decision is about family and personal choice as we see it and as the Governor has announced and as the state has announced the changes,” Stankus said. “Students and staff who choose to wear a face covering are free to do so, but we want to empower those individuals to have the right to choose, if they have been vaccinated and boosted, to go ahead and remove their face coverings, as some have expressed they want to do.”

BOE members voted to remove the mask mandate, effective Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. BOE President Dr. Tammy Samples, BOE Vice President Katie Loudin and BOE member Kristi Wilkerson voted in favor of removing the mandate, while BOE member Patrick Long voted against the measure. BOE member Dr. Greenbrier Almond was not present at Tuesday’s meeting.

Check back with My Buckhannon to read the details of the mask mandate discussion and other business and awards presented during Tuesday’s Upshur County BOE meeting.

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